American tourists attacked with acid in France

(Photo via MadeInMarseille)

PARIS: Four young American tourists were attacked with acid Sunday at a train station in the French city of Marseille and a 41-year-old woman has been arrested as their alleged assailant, the Marseille prosecutor’s office said.

Two of the female tourists suffered facial injuries during the late morning attack at Marseille’s Saint Charles train station and one of the two also had a possible eye injury, a spokeswoman for the Marseille prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press in a phone call.

She said all four of the women, who are in their 20s, were hospitalised, two of them for shock.

The spokeswoman said the suspect did not make any extremist threats or declarations during the attack. She said there were no obvious indications that the woman’s actions were terror-related, but added that officials could not completely rule out terror as a motive so early in the investigation.

The spokeswoman spoke on condition of anonymity, per the custom of the French judicial system.

She did not release more details about the suspects or the victims, including where in the United States the tourists live.

The Marseille fire department was alerted just after 11 a.m. and dispatched four vehicles and 14 firefighters to the train station, a department spokeswoman said.

Two of the Americans were “slightly injured” with acid but did not require emergency medical treatment from medics at the scene, the spokeswoman said. She requested anonymity in keeping with fire department protocol.

A spokesman for the United States embassy in Paris said the US consulate in Marseille was in with French authorities.

US authorities in France are not immediately commenting on what happened to protect the privacy of the American tourists, embassy spokesman Alex Daniels said.

Marseille is a port city in southern France that is closer to Barcelona than Paris.

In previous incidents in Marseille, a driver deliberately rammed into two bus stops last month, killing a woman, but officials said it wasn’t terror-related.

In April, French police said they thwarted an imminent “terror attack” and arrested two suspected radicals in Marseille just days before the first round of France’s presidential election. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters the two suspects “were getting ready to carry out an imminent, violent action.” In January 2016, a 15-year-old Turkish Kurd was arrested after attacking a Jewish teacher on a Marseille street. He told police he acted in the name of the Islamic State group.

Two of the female tourists suffered facial injuries during the late morning attack at Marseille’s Saint Charles train station and one of the two also had a possible eye injury, a spokeswoman for the Marseille prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press in a phone call.

She said all four of the women, who are in their 20s, were hospitalised, two of them for shock.

The spokeswoman said the suspect did not make any extremist threats or declarations during the attack. She said there were no obvious indications that the woman’s actions were terror-related, but added that officials could not completely rule out terror as a motive so early in the investigation.

The spokeswoman spoke on condition of anonymity, per the custom of the French judicial system.

She did not release more details about the suspects or the victims, including where in the United States the tourists live.

The Marseille fire department was alerted just after 11 a.m. and dispatched four vehicles and 14 firefighters to the train station, a department spokeswoman said.

Two of the Americans were “slightly injured” with acid but did not require emergency medical treatment from medics at the scene, the spokeswoman said. She requested anonymity in keeping with fire department protocol.

A spokesman for the United States embassy in Paris said the US consulate in Marseille was in with French authorities.

US authorities in France are not immediately commenting on what happened to protect the privacy of the American tourists, embassy spokesman Alex Daniels said.

Marseille is a port city in southern France that is closer to Barcelona than Paris.

In previous incidents in Marseille, a driver deliberately rammed into two bus stops last month, killing a woman, but officials said it wasn’t terror-related.

In April, French police said they thwarted an imminent “terror attack” and arrested two suspected radicals in Marseille just days before the first round of France’s presidential election. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters the two suspects “were getting ready to carry out an imminent, violent action.” In January 2016, a 15-year-old Turkish Kurd was arrested after attacking a Jewish teacher on a Marseille street. He told police he acted in the name of the Islamic State group.

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